The decision of Google to bring forth voice controls, which are enabled by Assistant, to their Nest Secure system is creating a stir in the society. The issue is that no one was really aware that the security device, launched back in September 2017, had a microphone packed in it. Google had built a microphone into their Nest Guard, which is a small hub having a keypad and what’s more, it also carries out communications with all the other sensors in their Secure system. Reports suggest that Google had completely failed to mention this inclusion in their product materials.
A spokesperson from the company acknowledged the fact that this should have been put up in the tech specifications, which was a mistake on their part. This comes up as the latest issue in a slew of blunder related to privacy for Google. In this year itself, they were imposed with a fine of $57 million in France against their policies regarding opaque data consent. It was followed up by uproar from smart home companies, where they had accused Google and Amazon, having asked for hardware insights in an uninterrupted manner. Google further added that the microphone in Nest Guard has never ever been on and those who use it, first must enable it before they move ahead talking to it.
It is to be noted that Nest had cancelled plans to build their own smart speaker back in the month of March 2016. It was because, they did not think consumers, who are conscious about privacy would take up a virtual assistant linked with Google. Two months hence, Google came up with Assistant but it would take around two years before they started to integrate the Artificial Intelligence with the products of Nest.